Dear Bates Families, It has been a fantastic first week with our new “arrive on time” campaign.  Thank you to all of you for really making the effort to arrive before 8:30.  It has made a remarkable difference in our ability to start the school day on time.  In just a few days we’ve gone from over 30 tardy students on some days to only a few.  I would like to clarify several points about our new procedures:

  • We advise that students not arrive earlier than 8:15 a.m.  Staff is not available to supervise students until 8:15. 
  • The “time to line up” bell on the playground rings at 8:27.  This has been our practice since August.  This timing allows the students to enter the building, put backpacks away and enter classrooms by 8:30.
  • The exterior doors have been locked by 8:35 a.m. for several years.  This is a safety protocol for the school.  Our custodial staff begins by locking the back doors and completes the locking of the front doors by 8:35. You may have noticed signs on all doors to this effect.  If a student walks to school on his/her own and arrives after the doors are locked, they are advised to ring the doorbell on the parking lot side of the building or the front door.  Someone in the office will open the door so they can get in.  No one will be “locked out” of school with this new policy. 
  • Please remember that the car line for drop off can get backed up, particularly close to 8:30 a.m.  If you are driving, please allow extra time for the car line.  This is especially important with inclement weather. 

I am excited to announce that DreamBox, an online learning environment that supports students’ math development, has been renewed for all Bates students this year.  This has been made possible by joint funding by the district and a generous grant from the PTO.  The Bates faculty is excited to think about new ways for students to use DreamBox at school and at home this year.  DreamBox supports conceptual understanding and utilizes adaptive technology to provide a unique learning path that best supports each child’s learning.  In order to do this, the program first starts with very easy tasks.  Even when faced with an easy task, students are advised to complete each activity or game they begin.  This allows DreamBox to record the child’s success with that particular task and tailor the next activity to his/her specific needs.  For those of you who may be new to using DreamBox, we will be sending home more information soon. Most of you have now had the chance to meet with your child’s teacher in a conference.  It is our hope that you have found this time informative and collaborative.  As a faculty we are continually thinking about how we work together with families to support all of our students.  If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to contact me at any time.  I am working with our math coach to schedule a math workshop for parents on how to best support math learning at home.  It was my hope to offer this opportunity this fall, but I have learned that January is the earliest we can arrange this.  In the meantime, I share the attached article on the importance of conceptual understanding.  This is an excellent resource for all of us who may have learned math quite differently than it is being taught to students today.  The last paragraph offers some specific tips that you may find useful.   Enjoy the rest of this beautiful weekend and the Veteran’s Day holiday on Tuesday. Regards, Toni Jolley          

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